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A panel organized by the SIGMAA QL … THE ROLE OF QUANTITATIVE LITERACY CENTERS IN SUPPORTING STUDENTS AND FACULTY July 31, 2008 9: 00 a. m. – 10: 20 a. m.
Panel Organized by: • Maura Mast, University of Massachusetts – Boston • Cinnamon Hillyard, University of Washington Bothell Panelists: • Caren Diefenderfer, Hollins University • Nicole Hoover, University of Washington Bothell • Judith Moran, Trinity College • Corrine Taylor, Wellesley College
Quantitative Reasoning at Wellesley College Corri Taylor Math. Fest QL Panel July 31, 2008
Two-Part QR Requirement 1. The “Basic Skills” Requirement is satisfied either by: • Passing the QR Assessment during Orientation, or • Passing “Intro to QR” – course that builds logic, math, and statistics skills in real world contexts 2. The “QR Overlay” Requirement is satisfied by taking an approved course that deals extensively w/ the analysis and interpretation of data, e. g. , • Statistics classes • Science labs with data collection & analysis
The QR Assessment Study packet sent in summer Administered during Orientation Test is 90 minutes; 18 questions; 9. 5 to pass Most questions are NOT multiple-guess No calculators allowed
Sample Assessment Question Summer sublets tend to be expensive in the Cambridge area. This table from a local housing office advertises the monthly rental costs for two-bedroom apartments. For example, the table indicates that there are six apartments available for $1200/month. Use the table to answer the following questions.
Assessment Question Continued 1. What percentage of the apartments sublet for more than $1, 200 per month? 2. What is the mean (average) monthly rent for a twobedroom apartment?
Intro to QR Course Lectures and computer labs (using Excel) Emphasis on practical uses of logic, math, stats often QR skills taught “just-in-time” Topics include: * Education data * US demographics * Astronomically large to microscopically small – a physical sense of space * Personal finance Using & Understanding Mathematics: A Quantitative Reasoning Approach, by Bennett & Briggs
QR Overlay Courses Types of courses: • Statistics classes with computer labs • Science classes with hands-on laboratories involving statistical analysis • Others: PHIL 209: Scientific Reasoning • • • Topics covered: Framework for data analysis Methods of data collection & measurement Representing & summarizing data Confidence intervals; hypothesis testing ANOVA; multiple regression
QR Overlay Courses in…. Astronomy Biology Chemistry Computer Science Economics Education Environmental Studies Geology Mathematics Philosophy Physics Political Science Psychology Sociology
We in the QR Program (Two Full-Time Faculty) Administer the QR Assessment Teach the “Intro to QR” course and some QR overlay courses (in Math, Econ, Education, Bio. Stats) Coordinate with LTC for tutorial services Ensure QR overlays meet guidelines Support instructors of present & future QR overlay and other quantitative courses Run “Celebrating QR Connections” series
Celebrating QR Connections QR & Art, Spring 2004 QR & Biology, Fall 2005 QR & Forensic Evidence, Spring 2007 QR, Polls & Predictions, Fall 2008
Support for our QR Program Faculty initiated from the beginning QR requirements since 1997 Students appreciative of program 2003, gift of $160, 000 for series, etc. 2004, endowment of program, $3 million QR is important part of Wellesley culture
The Role of QR Centers in Supporting Students and Faculty Caren Diefenderfer Hollins University Math. Fest 2008 SIGMAA QL Roanoke, VA
QR Requirements at Hollins “New” Gen Ed program (fall 2001) Education through Skills and Perspectives (ESP) Two QR requirements (q) Basic Skills (fall 1998) (Q) Applied Skills
The Center for Learning Excellence Houses the Writing Center and the QR Center Student tutors are available Peer mentors for classes that request one Tutor training class Faculty workshops Future “vision” for the Center?
The QL Requirement at Trinity College Judy Moran
History of QL Requirement (the old days) • Established by vote of faculty in 1986 • QL proficiency determined by an in-house exam given to all incoming students • Non-proficient students required to take Math 101, a foundations course designed and taught by founding Director Tim Craine • Study assistance provided by student tutors
Components of Trinity’s QL Requirement today 1. Faculty general education requirement instituted by faculty vote in 1986 (but the definition of QL has been debated and specified by the emerging QL community). 2. Math Center Advisory Committee of nine faculty from across campus, including one member of the Math Department, and Associate Dean of Faculty
3. Assessment of all incoming students in four areas: Numerical Relationships proportions, percents, estimation Statistical Relationships data analysis, elementary probability Algebraic Relationships modeling, functions, algebra Logical Relationships fallacies, arguments, counterexamples
4. Foundation Course and Quantitative Support Math 101: Contemporary Applications: Math for the 21 st Century
Tutoring in Trinity College’s Math Center
5. Other QL courses that satisfy the requirement: Fallacies for Fun and Profit (First-year Seminar) Mathematics of Equity (Math Distribution & QL Credit) Skepticism and Belief (Science Distribution & QL Credit) Visually Displaying Data: Graphical Literacy (Math Distribution & QL Credit) Geometry in Art and Architecture (Math Dist. & QL Credit)
Problem: Trinity’s QL requirement is still the province of the Math (soon to be Quantitative) Center. Although many faculty use more quantitative tools in their courses, there is no institutional incentive for them to do so.
QL-enriched courses QL Across the Curriculum course development supported by grants from the Dean of Faculty’s office and the NNN: Introduction to Earth Science Adjustment and Transition: The Political Economy of Sub. Saharan Africa Introduction to Environmental Science Math, Disease, Race and Colonialism in the Americas (history) Introduction to Health and Human Rights Introduction to American Public Policy Foundations of Modern Science (First Year Seminar) Math as Music, Music as Math (Tutorial College) World Population (Sociology)
University of Washington Bothell’s Quantitative Skills Center Nicole Hoover, Director
University of Washington Bothell ► Founded in 1990 ► Present Enrollment: 1, 560 FTE ► Programs of Study: § Business (BA, MBA) § Computing & Software Systems (BS, BA) § Interdisciplinary Studies (BA) § Nursing (BSN, MN) § Education (M. Ed. ) § Policy Studies (MA) § Cultural Studies (MA)* § Environmental Science/Studies (BS/BA) § STEM (BS)* *new programs
Quantitative Skills Center (QSC) History ► 1998 – Faculty Instruction & Research Committee saw need for QL support ► Wanted something different from other math centers ► Some faculty were concerned it would be a “crutch”
Beginnings of QSC ► In 2000 – Doors opened with Cinnamon and 1 student tutor ► Open ≈ 12 hours/week ► Located in small study room in campus library
The QSC Today ► 2 staff positions ► 13 student tutors (2 -4 working at one time) ► Open 50 hours/week ► Located in its own suite ► 7 computers ► Seats ≈ 25 students
QSC Statistics ► Almost 10, 600 visits since opening in 2000 ► This year we averaged ≈ 60 visits each week Projected
Supporting Students & Faculty ►Peer tutoring ►Classroom support § Faculty consultation § Classroom activities ►Workshops § Excel § SPSS § Algebra Refresher…
Some Areas We Support ► Precalculus, Calculus, Statistics ► Logic behind programming ► Finance ► Economics ► Some sciences ► Quantitative research design and analysis ► Quantitative software such as Excel, SPSS, Maple, etc.
Challenges ► Training tutors ► Keeping up with who’s doing what! ► Getting faculty to incorporate QL into their courses
Opportunities ► Students have better understanding of the mathematics they are using ► Students able to see connections ► Students stop asking “When will we ever use this? ” ► Great learning opportunity for tutors